Beer wins peers' approval

Mirboo North's Grand Ridge Brewery is proving that craft is best by taking out four medals at the prestigious Australian International Beer awards last week.

Grand Ridge Brewery head brewer Dave Breheny and owner Eric Walters with their winning brews. photograph michelle slater

Grand Ridge Brewery head brewer Dave Breheny and owner Eric Walters with their winning brews. photograph michelle slater

The local brewery won silver and bronze awards for its Winter Warmer, Cinnamon Red Ale and Supershine labels.

An international panel of 60 judges assessed brews from 350 breweries from across the world.

Grand Ridge Brewery owner Eric Walters said these medals added to their stable of 250 titles won at international and national levels over 20 years.

"It's good for the brewery team, everyone gets a buzz out of it. We know these beers are good, and it's nice to be recognised by our peers," Mr Walters said.

"It's a great sense of celebration for everyone who works here that all the effort we put in is recognised."

Mr Walters said all their beers were prepared without chemicals or added sugar and all ingredients were sustainably sourced and brewed.

He described the Winter Warmer as a "deep, luscious stout with a silky mouth feel" with a hint of vanilla and some background chili to give it some warmth.

The Supershine had already won several world titles. It has a two-year waiting list of craft beer fans who pay $260 a case.

"We call the cinnamon red ale Forgiveness. It's a very powerful experience both given and received. It's stunningly good," Mr Walters said.

Mr Walter started the brewery in 1989 after being dissatisfied with what was on offer from the major suppliers at the time.

"I thought at the time, why weren't we making good beers here in Australia? This was before the craft-beer revolution, and now there are more than 400 craft brewers in Australia," he said.

He said the brewery was continuing to create more innovative beers.

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